SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MML526328
Module Leader Martin Kettle
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Summary of Content

The Dissertation module requires independent work on an original research study related to social work. In recent years there have been moves to embed 'research mindedness' and 'research literacy' into social work research governance, education, training and practice. The module will enhance analytical, problem solving and critical writing skills and will provide the opportunity to apply the principles of research in order to make a contribution to the existing body of knowledge in the chosen area of interest, whilst allowing students to demonstrate a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used. Further, the dissertation aims to enable students to develop creativity and originality in the application of knowledge and theory. The teaching input will be tailored to students' projects, around for example data analysis or interviewing skills.


Initial workshops will be used to explore and review the following themes: -360b7 The place of theorising in developing research design b7 The research context, process and research design b7 Systematic literature reviews and their role in research b7 Managing, analysing and critically interpreting data These sessions will be used to set the context of the dissertation and will be complemented by a further four sessions where the students have the opportunity to present their work in progress and enter into discussions related to the research process. Practising in a research minded way means that students will consider issues such as surmounting obstacles in the research process or ethical issues related to their area of study. A dissertation supervisor will ensure appropriate direction towards independent study but will highlight areas for further study or investigation that would be beneficial. Separate classes will be provided for students undertaking empirical studies or critical reviews.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Through extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding Identify a research question to be explored in a dissertation2. Systematically identify and critically appraise the relevant literature related to the area of interest3. Critically utilize a range of search and storage strategies4. Demonstrate originality and creativity in the implementation of their study 5. Take responsibility for the production, of a comprehensive, focused dissertation study, that has the potential for publication 6. Critically evaluate the significance of their research or review and assess its potential contribution, with reference to the existing body of knowledge in the relevant area7. From the dissertation study, Identify appropriate areas for dissemination and further study.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

-1 Using-13 a-12 -1 series-13 of-12 -1 seminars/-12 -1 workshops,-11 and-13 individual-12 tutorials-13 -1 students-12 -1 will-13 receive-12 appropriate-12 guidance-13 to-12 undertake this-11 process.-11 -1 Using-10 individual-11 and-11 group-10 presentations-11 -1 students-11 -1 will-10 be-11 facilitated-11 in-10 the-11 progress-11 of-10 their-11 -1 work-11 and receive-12 peer-11 and-14 -3 Tutor-11 -1 feedback.-11 The-11 emphasis-11 -1 will-11 however-11 be-11 on-11 the-11 -1 student's-11 independent-11 approach-11 to-11 the-11 dissertation.

Indicative Reading

There are a large, and growing, number of research methods texts and these are merely an indicative list. Core texts Carey, M., (2013). The Social Work Dissertation 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Aveyard, H., (2014). A Postgraduate's Guide to Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care , Maidenhead, Open University Press. Bell, J., (2018). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education and Social Science . 7th ed. Buckingham: Open University Press Biggam, J., (2018). Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation , 4 th ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press Brett Davies, M., (2007) Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods . Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Additional reading Additional reading will be suggested by supervisors, oriented specifically to students' topics. Students should also refer to GCU policy on dissertation supervision Dissertation supervision <https://learn-eu-central-1-prod-fleet01-xythos.s3-eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/5c1a4465d06f0/3190154?response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%2A%3DUTF-8%27%27Policy%2520on%2520Dissertation%2520Supervision%25202018.pdf&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Date=20191010T153046Z&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Expires=21600&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIZ3QX2YUHH4EOO3A%2F20191010%2Feu-central-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Signature=0cbcdfe9e934cde38155da00bf477662bd32008b45013543379af04cfea9482c>

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Analytical, argumentative and interpretive skills b7 Capacity to think critically and divergently b7 Problem solving, decision making and negotiating skills b7 Time and workload management b7 Organisational and presentation skills b7 Communication and report writing b7 Using information technology b7 Research design and application Independent study

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Independent Learning (FT) 540.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Dissertation n/a 100.00 50% Dissertation 12000-15000 words